Puzzling Symptoms

kribensis12

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I have a 15g tall tank with approx. 10 1-1.5 inch Dark Knight Ram Cichlids in it (for growing out, obviously not a permanent home).

Important Note: This fish are extremely sensitive to poor water quality and may simply keel over if in unfavorable conditions (I have seen it happen).

That being said, these Rams are doing phenomenally. I have one set that have paired and laid eggs once, all of the others are very happily swimming around the tank, eating well etc.

All except one - one lone female. Last week I found her swimming erratically and being bullied by ALL of the others. Not knowing if she was sick and being bullied, or just being bullied, I immediately placed her in a 10g tank. That day she more or less sat in one spot. By day #2, she was swimming around normally.

It's been over a week and she has not eaten. I placed one of the males in with her to see if company would encourage her to eat. No luck. He eats great and they get along very well, but it's as if she doesn't even see the food. I occasionally see her pecking at the bottom of the tank, but never at food. There is just a sponge filter, so she is not getting stressed by water flow. I have not really seen her poop (because she does not eat) and I have noticed that her mouth is just close - I rarely ever see her move it.

I have done several water changes hoping this would help.

Parameters:
Temp: 82
pH: 7.0
kH & gH - Unavailable, but VERY low as its pure R/O with a small dose of a neutral pH buffer. TDS is around 80.
Ammonia:0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0-5

Any suggestions on what might be ailing her? I'd really hate to lose her. All other rams are 100%.
 

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kribensis12

kribensis12

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I would be trying her on different food. You say she pecks the gravel. Give her an Algae disc in the corner she hangs out in and see if she likes it.
I have tried this and she does nothing. It's as if she does not realize that there is food available.

I have tried bloodworms and algae discs with no luck.

The more I watch her, the more she seems like a zombie. She appears healthy but she does not seem to be super in control of how she swims - it's hard to describe, but she just isn't there.

I'm wondering if there is a parasite at play; Rams are highly susceptible. I may remove the male tonight and treat with praziquantel as I have no clue what is wrong.
 
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kribensis12

kribensis12

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Giving this a bump. This morning she was "resting" on the bottom of the tank but then perked up.

Ram Cichlids don't rest - I'm being dramatic but typically they are swimming around the tank like Olympic Gold Medalists.

I fear that she does not have much time left if I don't act soon - but I truly don't know what's going on.
 

Ch4rlie

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Am sorry, I cannot offer much help as never had rams and am unsure what could be causing these symptoms.

Hopefully someone who keeps or has kept rams or has had symptoms like those on another specie may be able to suggest ideas and perhaps how to treat.

Wish I could help :/
 
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kribensis12

kribensis12

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Appreciate it. My suspicion is worms. At this point, if I don’t treat what’s wrong she is going to die - so worst case scenario I waste a couple grams of medication
 

Myraan

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Starting to wonder if your main problem is that the person who knows most about illness in Rams on this forum might be you... Does Cory's friend on Aquarium Co-op ever talk about sickness in those black rams compared to other rams? Being as it looks like he sells 100s of them....
 
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kribensis12

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Starting to wonder if your main problem is that the person who knows most about illness in Rams on this forum might be you... Does Cory's friend on Aquarium Co-op ever talk about sickness in those black rams compared to other rams? Being as it looks like he sells 100s of them....

I’m sure there are many who are more experienced than I. It is known that while all Rams are sensitive, Black are the most followed by electric blue. That being said, there is no disease specific to just black Rams.

I removed the healthy male tonight and treated the 10g tank with .3 grams of Levisamole HCL and intend to do a W/C tomorrow night. I figure it can’t hurt as it should both paralyze (and allow them to pass) most worms but it will also boost her immune system which can’t hurt.

I’m open to any other ideas or suggestions.
 

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Maybe a strange answer, but are you sure she isn't guarding tiny fry ?
 

Ch4rlie

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Skinny fish may well have worms.

Levamisole should help with this, perhaps a full dose might help more.
 
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kribensis12

kribensis12

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Skinny fish may well have worms.

Levamisole should help with this, perhaps a full dose might help more.
@Ch4rlie Do you have a dosing guide that you use?

my understanding was that .3 mg was to be used for every 10g.

I’m more than willing to try again if I dosed incorrectly.
 
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